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264 blogs
  • 07 Oct 2015
    The winter may be coming, but there’s still something growing – your tenners! Grow Your Tenner, our annual match fund campaign, starts next week and we’re excited to help double donations to local charities and community groups across the UK. How does it work Single donations are matched pound-for-pound up to £10, and monthly donations up to £10 per month for 3 months. All charities with active Localgiving memberships are eligible to receive up to a maximum of £10,000 of match funding.  The campaign will run across the whole of the UK. With Gift Aid, a one-time donation of £10 made through Localgiving.com during Grow Your Tenner will generate £21.67. This means that when someone sets up a monthly donation for your cause this  would result in £65.31 (including Gift Aid) after the three months of matching, and will continue to bring in £11.77 a month until it is stopped. Just think about what 5 Direct Debits set up could bring in for your charity after 12 months! £856.20 to be exact. Read our FAQs and terms and conditions for more information. It starts with £10 Part of the mission of Grow Your Tenner is to help local voluntary organisations engage new supporters for their cause. £10 is a great starting point for many people who haven’t donated to a charity or community group before. During the campaign, a charity receives over double from a donation that is eligible for Gift Aid made by a new supporter. But that’s not all, for any supporter that opts-in to communications, a charity can collect their contact information and keep these new supporters engaged with their work. 81% of donors say it is important that they receive some form of communication from a charity after making a donation. While a personal thank you is great, donors also care about the impact their donations have made - why not update them about the difference their money has made after the campaign, too? Keeping supporters engaged with the projects your charity is working on increases the likelihood that they will donate to a cause again (and again, and again) and less likely that they will cancel a monthly donation they’ve set up. How we can help make it a success We’ve been busy at Localgiving HQ making resources to help give you the best chance of a successful campaign. Check out our resources for Grow Your Tenner. These includes tips for social media, story-telling and encouraging monthly donations, as well as templates to help you get started with emails and contacting the press. For some inspiration - see the award winners and runners up of last year’s campaign and see how they fundraised here. Still time to join in Not yet a member of Localgiving? Don't worry, there is no time limit for inclusion. If you're a local voluntary organisation then sign up and be included in the campaign straight away! Click here to join us. Happy fundraising!
    1470 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • The winter may be coming, but there’s still something growing – your tenners! Grow Your Tenner, our annual match fund campaign, starts next week and we’re excited to help double donations to local charities and community groups across the UK. How does it work Single donations are matched pound-for-pound up to £10, and monthly donations up to £10 per month for 3 months. All charities with active Localgiving memberships are eligible to receive up to a maximum of £10,000 of match funding.  The campaign will run across the whole of the UK. With Gift Aid, a one-time donation of £10 made through Localgiving.com during Grow Your Tenner will generate £21.67. This means that when someone sets up a monthly donation for your cause this  would result in £65.31 (including Gift Aid) after the three months of matching, and will continue to bring in £11.77 a month until it is stopped. Just think about what 5 Direct Debits set up could bring in for your charity after 12 months! £856.20 to be exact. Read our FAQs and terms and conditions for more information. It starts with £10 Part of the mission of Grow Your Tenner is to help local voluntary organisations engage new supporters for their cause. £10 is a great starting point for many people who haven’t donated to a charity or community group before. During the campaign, a charity receives over double from a donation that is eligible for Gift Aid made by a new supporter. But that’s not all, for any supporter that opts-in to communications, a charity can collect their contact information and keep these new supporters engaged with their work. 81% of donors say it is important that they receive some form of communication from a charity after making a donation. While a personal thank you is great, donors also care about the impact their donations have made - why not update them about the difference their money has made after the campaign, too? Keeping supporters engaged with the projects your charity is working on increases the likelihood that they will donate to a cause again (and again, and again) and less likely that they will cancel a monthly donation they’ve set up. How we can help make it a success We’ve been busy at Localgiving HQ making resources to help give you the best chance of a successful campaign. Check out our resources for Grow Your Tenner. These includes tips for social media, story-telling and encouraging monthly donations, as well as templates to help you get started with emails and contacting the press. For some inspiration - see the award winners and runners up of last year’s campaign and see how they fundraised here. Still time to join in Not yet a member of Localgiving? Don't worry, there is no time limit for inclusion. If you're a local voluntary organisation then sign up and be included in the campaign straight away! Click here to join us. Happy fundraising!
    Oct 07, 2015 1470
  • 06 Oct 2015
    Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to help@localgiving.com.
    1214 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to help@localgiving.com.
    Oct 06, 2015 1214
  • 22 Dec 2015
    Greg Hallett has been a qualified accountant for almost 30 years. He has always worked within the smaller company environment. He believes passionately in people and in charity – that’s why he came to work with Give as you Live – this allows him to combine his passions with his business and finance background.  As MD, Greg insists that the DNA of Give as you Live is all about charity, all about people and all about honesty and integrity. Fundraising can be tough when you have a target to reach and you’ve exhausted all your contacts. But what if you could add to your fundraising target by doing something you do everyday? A great way to help boost your fundraising efforts is Give as you Live – an online shopping platform that allows you to shop online and raise money for a cause you care about. With over 4,000 stores participating in the scheme and the stores covering the cost of the donation – all you need to do is decide what you’re going to buy.  A new car insurance policy at More Than can raise on average £35 A weekly online food shop at Sainsbury’s can raise 50p A new phone contract at Carphone Warehouse can raise up to £20 The way it works is by affiliate marketing. Give as you Live gets paid a commission for driving a sale to the retailer, they then share this with the users chosen charity – making it completely free for the charity and the supporter to raise funds. You don’t have to sacrifice where you shop with most household names signed up including John Lewis, Argos, M&S, Amazon and more. And more importantly you don’t have to drastically change the way you shop. Want to try it? Step 1: Go to Give.as/localgiving and choose a Localgiving cause of your choice. Step 2: Enter your name and email to sign up with Give as you Live. Step 3: Search for the retailer you want to shop with and start shopping! Once you’ve clicked through to the retailer’s website, just continue to shop as normal. You’ll receive an email from Give as you Live within 1 to 7 days to let you know how much you’ve raised. For more information about Give as you Live and how it works, check out the FAQs here    
    1769 Posted by Greg Hallett
  • Greg Hallett has been a qualified accountant for almost 30 years. He has always worked within the smaller company environment. He believes passionately in people and in charity – that’s why he came to work with Give as you Live – this allows him to combine his passions with his business and finance background.  As MD, Greg insists that the DNA of Give as you Live is all about charity, all about people and all about honesty and integrity. Fundraising can be tough when you have a target to reach and you’ve exhausted all your contacts. But what if you could add to your fundraising target by doing something you do everyday? A great way to help boost your fundraising efforts is Give as you Live – an online shopping platform that allows you to shop online and raise money for a cause you care about. With over 4,000 stores participating in the scheme and the stores covering the cost of the donation – all you need to do is decide what you’re going to buy.  A new car insurance policy at More Than can raise on average £35 A weekly online food shop at Sainsbury’s can raise 50p A new phone contract at Carphone Warehouse can raise up to £20 The way it works is by affiliate marketing. Give as you Live gets paid a commission for driving a sale to the retailer, they then share this with the users chosen charity – making it completely free for the charity and the supporter to raise funds. You don’t have to sacrifice where you shop with most household names signed up including John Lewis, Argos, M&S, Amazon and more. And more importantly you don’t have to drastically change the way you shop. Want to try it? Step 1: Go to Give.as/localgiving and choose a Localgiving cause of your choice. Step 2: Enter your name and email to sign up with Give as you Live. Step 3: Search for the retailer you want to shop with and start shopping! Once you’ve clicked through to the retailer’s website, just continue to shop as normal. You’ll receive an email from Give as you Live within 1 to 7 days to let you know how much you’ve raised. For more information about Give as you Live and how it works, check out the FAQs here    
    Dec 22, 2015 1769
  • 24 Sep 2015
    On Wednesday, the report of the cross party review of fundraising regulation, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington of NCVO, was released. The report includes recommendations for improved regulation to help better protect donors, as well as measures to ensure the future sustainability of voluntary sector organisations. Recommendations include greater accountability for Trustees, and a new fundraising regulator for the sector. The report highlights the need for clear separation of roles and interests. It recommends that the Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association merge to help better provide the sector with help and advice, whilst also handing over their regulatory responsibilities to the new regulator. But what does this mean specifically for local charities and community groups? Localgiving’s viewpoint is that much of the negative press surrounding fundraising over the summer has been down to methodology primarily applied by larger charities - meaning that its impact on local groups has been minimal. In fact, we would assert that the core concepts laid out in the report for responsible, self-regulated fundraising are those that many local charities already employ to great effect. The report states: "Fundraising needs to move above and beyond regulation and compliance, from simply just doing things right to also doing the right thing. Charities need to view and approach fundraising no longer as just a money-raising technique, but as a way in which they can provide a connection between the donor and the cause. We welcome therefore the proposal from senior fundraisers and academics to establish a ’Commission on the Donor Experience’, with an emphasis on strengthening relationships between fundraising organisations and donors. And we welcome any move that shifts fundraising away from aggressive or pushy techniques and instead towards inspiring people to give and creating long-term, sustainable relationships." These are sentiments that we very much echo. We believe that: Local charities, in particular, have a key advantage at creating these kinds of long-term sustainable relationships by actively engaging with people from their community. Face-to-face interaction coupled with digital technology has the ability to create powerful connections between local people that facilitates the kind of fundraising advocated by the review. This kind of honest, value-based fundraising is eminently more sustainable than more aggressive methods - such as cold-calling - which require a large amount of resources and can suffer from various pitfalls, including negative donor experience. Find out more For those that are interested in learning more about the key points of the fundraising review, the Guardian has published an excellent rundown of the implications of the report for the voluntary sector. If you have any further questions about the report or fundraising best practice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for free advice and support at help@localgiving.com or on 0300 111 2340.
    1682 Posted by Lou Coady
  • On Wednesday, the report of the cross party review of fundraising regulation, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington of NCVO, was released. The report includes recommendations for improved regulation to help better protect donors, as well as measures to ensure the future sustainability of voluntary sector organisations. Recommendations include greater accountability for Trustees, and a new fundraising regulator for the sector. The report highlights the need for clear separation of roles and interests. It recommends that the Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association merge to help better provide the sector with help and advice, whilst also handing over their regulatory responsibilities to the new regulator. But what does this mean specifically for local charities and community groups? Localgiving’s viewpoint is that much of the negative press surrounding fundraising over the summer has been down to methodology primarily applied by larger charities - meaning that its impact on local groups has been minimal. In fact, we would assert that the core concepts laid out in the report for responsible, self-regulated fundraising are those that many local charities already employ to great effect. The report states: "Fundraising needs to move above and beyond regulation and compliance, from simply just doing things right to also doing the right thing. Charities need to view and approach fundraising no longer as just a money-raising technique, but as a way in which they can provide a connection between the donor and the cause. We welcome therefore the proposal from senior fundraisers and academics to establish a ’Commission on the Donor Experience’, with an emphasis on strengthening relationships between fundraising organisations and donors. And we welcome any move that shifts fundraising away from aggressive or pushy techniques and instead towards inspiring people to give and creating long-term, sustainable relationships." These are sentiments that we very much echo. We believe that: Local charities, in particular, have a key advantage at creating these kinds of long-term sustainable relationships by actively engaging with people from their community. Face-to-face interaction coupled with digital technology has the ability to create powerful connections between local people that facilitates the kind of fundraising advocated by the review. This kind of honest, value-based fundraising is eminently more sustainable than more aggressive methods - such as cold-calling - which require a large amount of resources and can suffer from various pitfalls, including negative donor experience. Find out more For those that are interested in learning more about the key points of the fundraising review, the Guardian has published an excellent rundown of the implications of the report for the voluntary sector. If you have any further questions about the report or fundraising best practice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for free advice and support at help@localgiving.com or on 0300 111 2340.
    Sep 24, 2015 1682
  • 29 Sep 2015
    Your organisation is doing incredible work – you know it, your staff and volunteers know it, but does anyone else? By sharing stories of your work and the impact it is having you can attract more supporters, volunteers, staff, and even the people you are helping. While it is worth the effort in the long term, it is not easy to get your story the attention it deserves. With more and more content being shared it is really important to do everything you can to make your content stand out. Here are five free tools you can use to get your story heard: 1) Pixabay You will have heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It is so true, especially today with more and more people and organisations writing blogs and newsletters. Having a good image can bring your story to life. Using your own photos of your work is ideal but if you need to use a stock photo Pixabay is the place to go. It can be difficult to find free images that are high quality, plus you need to think about copyright issues and attribution requirements. With Pixabay you have access – for free – to thousands of high quality royalty free stock images. You can use any image without attribution, so the only thing you need to spend time on is finding the image you want to use.  A photo found on Pixabay 2) Canva You have great images now, but what are you going to do with them? And how can you make them unique? Canva, an incredible tool which is free to use (for the most part), will help you create designs for the Internet or print. You can make graphics for your blog posts, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, Christmas cards, event invitations, and more – all for free. Some of the images available do have a small charge ($1) but with the images available to you via Pixabay you shouldn’t need to pay for any images on Canva. Canva is so easy to use, you really don’t need to be an experienced designer to be able to create something on there.  Each month I update the Good News Shared Facebook cover using Canva 3) Mailchimp Once you have people interested in your organisation it is important to build a relationship with them. Mailchimp is a great tool to use for this, as you can manage your contacts and send them an email regularly without it taking up too much of your time. Best of all, it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. 4) Charity Comms Ask Charity Service The AskCharity service is a great way for you to get your story seen and used by journalists. Charities sign up to receive requests from journalists looking for case studies, interviews or information. When you see a request your charity can help with you simply get in touch with the journalist using the contact details they have given. Smaller charities do not always have the time to pitch to journalists. Being part of the AskCharity service gives organisations the chance of raising awareness of their work by being included in articles without having to spend lots of time finding contacts and building relationships with journalists. 5) Do-it Trust While there are so many tools available now to help charities share their story, using any or all of them can still be too time-consuming for smaller charities. A way to overcome this problem is to find people who can help by signing up to the Do-it Trust website. Do-it Trust, the UK’s first national database service for volunteering, has over 100,000 volunteers from across the UK signed up. It is quick and easy to use, and will help you find the volunteers you are looking for in no time at all. ---- Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Lessons for charities from Knee surgery by Richard Sved  Get your Charity's voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    8600 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
  • Your organisation is doing incredible work – you know it, your staff and volunteers know it, but does anyone else? By sharing stories of your work and the impact it is having you can attract more supporters, volunteers, staff, and even the people you are helping. While it is worth the effort in the long term, it is not easy to get your story the attention it deserves. With more and more content being shared it is really important to do everything you can to make your content stand out. Here are five free tools you can use to get your story heard: 1) Pixabay You will have heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It is so true, especially today with more and more people and organisations writing blogs and newsletters. Having a good image can bring your story to life. Using your own photos of your work is ideal but if you need to use a stock photo Pixabay is the place to go. It can be difficult to find free images that are high quality, plus you need to think about copyright issues and attribution requirements. With Pixabay you have access – for free – to thousands of high quality royalty free stock images. You can use any image without attribution, so the only thing you need to spend time on is finding the image you want to use.  A photo found on Pixabay 2) Canva You have great images now, but what are you going to do with them? And how can you make them unique? Canva, an incredible tool which is free to use (for the most part), will help you create designs for the Internet or print. You can make graphics for your blog posts, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, Christmas cards, event invitations, and more – all for free. Some of the images available do have a small charge ($1) but with the images available to you via Pixabay you shouldn’t need to pay for any images on Canva. Canva is so easy to use, you really don’t need to be an experienced designer to be able to create something on there.  Each month I update the Good News Shared Facebook cover using Canva 3) Mailchimp Once you have people interested in your organisation it is important to build a relationship with them. Mailchimp is a great tool to use for this, as you can manage your contacts and send them an email regularly without it taking up too much of your time. Best of all, it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. 4) Charity Comms Ask Charity Service The AskCharity service is a great way for you to get your story seen and used by journalists. Charities sign up to receive requests from journalists looking for case studies, interviews or information. When you see a request your charity can help with you simply get in touch with the journalist using the contact details they have given. Smaller charities do not always have the time to pitch to journalists. Being part of the AskCharity service gives organisations the chance of raising awareness of their work by being included in articles without having to spend lots of time finding contacts and building relationships with journalists. 5) Do-it Trust While there are so many tools available now to help charities share their story, using any or all of them can still be too time-consuming for smaller charities. A way to overcome this problem is to find people who can help by signing up to the Do-it Trust website. Do-it Trust, the UK’s first national database service for volunteering, has over 100,000 volunteers from across the UK signed up. It is quick and easy to use, and will help you find the volunteers you are looking for in no time at all. ---- Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Lessons for charities from Knee surgery by Richard Sved  Get your Charity's voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    Sep 29, 2015 8600
  • 18 Sep 2015
    In our recent blog, The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep, we highlighted some of the practical ways that people can support refugees through local initiatives. While the headlines focus on the need for emergency assistance, it is important to remember that, once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face many additional challenges and barriers - from alienation, to housing to health. Much of the support available is provided by small, local charities and solidarity organisations. These groups not only have an acute understanding of the particular needs in their area and community but many also provide unique, innovative solutions. A perfect example of this is The Bike Project. Jem Stein set up The Bike Project in 2013 after witnessing first-hand the problems for refugees and asylum seekers caused by London’s soaring transport costs. Jem’s solution was simple - to get refugees cycling! By repairing abandoned bikes and giving them to refugees, The Bike Project estimate they save each refugee over £1000 per year. Since 2013 the project has gone from strength to strength. To date, they have distributed over 980 bikes to refugees as well as venturing into new areas such as cycle training for refugee women. This week we met Jem amid the wheel-lined walls of The Bike Project’s HQ in South London. Here we took the opportunity to discuss how the project started, its successes so far and new initiatives. We also looked at how the project is benefitting from its business partnerships. What was your inspiration behind the Bike Project? “When I was at university I started mentoring a refugee. He was 16 and had fled the Darfuri genocide. He was placed in the outskirts of London. Beside all the terrible things he had experienced, one of the biggest challenges he faced was that he couldn’t get anywhere. London transport is so expensive. As an asylum seeker you get £36 per week to live off and a bus pass is £21 per week. As you can’t work this leaves you very little”. “I grew up in Oxford - a cycling city - one of the first things I did to help him therefore was try to get him a bike. This enabled him to access education, healthcare, base community and psychological support”. “I founded The Bike project in my spare time while at my last charity. I left that charity to run it full time in March 2013. So we’ve been going two and a half years”. Talk us through how The Bike Project works? “Our core work involves collecting bikes donated through individuals, police, local councils and various different organisations. These bikes are refurbished by the mechanics in our workshop”. “Refugees can come and get a bike from us - most are referred from refugee organisations but people can turn up on the door.” “We have just started providing basic cycle safety training to refugees too. Every refugee receives a set of lights, a lock and a helmet. Many choose to become regular volunteers with us – this way they are also involved in the process of fixing the bikes” “We also have a project that teaches refugee women to cycle. It quickly came to our attention that we were becoming very male dominated. When we did some research we realised that this was because most refugee women come from patriarchal societies where it is not socially acceptable for women to cycle. We got a little bit of funding from TFL and a private trust. We run that project every Tuesday with the Jesuit refugee service”. Have you had any specific success stories? “One of our success stories is Resom (pictured above) who is working next door. He initially came to us as a refugee and soon started volunteering for us. As he had leave to remain, he was allowed to work. He had a knack for bike mechanics so we supported him to train as a mechanic. We now employ him 3 and a bit days per week.” You have recently been sponsored by the Law firm Winckworth – Sherwood to become a member of Localgiving. Have you explored working with businesses before and would you say there are any particular benefits from working with businesses? “We are really grateful to Winckworth - Sherwood for supporting us. We encourage them to visit and see what we do. We look forward to working with them in the future”. “We are a charity and social enterprise. Part of our income comes from providing bike servicing to firms in the city with commuter cyclists - so we work with a lot of big and medium sized businesses” “The great thing about working with businesses is that people who work in the private sector really like to feel that their skills can be useful (to charities). You can get a lot out of a relationship if you can find a way to use these skills. For example, our treasurer is the financial director of a private equity firm in the city. It is important for him to be able to use his skills in a way that helps a charity.” “When working with a business if there is a way for you to utilise their skills, this can be the core of a really productive relationship in terms of volunteering and potentially financially.”    To find out more about the bike project or donate please visit: The Bike Project To find out about groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities HERE.     
    1835 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • In our recent blog, The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep, we highlighted some of the practical ways that people can support refugees through local initiatives. While the headlines focus on the need for emergency assistance, it is important to remember that, once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face many additional challenges and barriers - from alienation, to housing to health. Much of the support available is provided by small, local charities and solidarity organisations. These groups not only have an acute understanding of the particular needs in their area and community but many also provide unique, innovative solutions. A perfect example of this is The Bike Project. Jem Stein set up The Bike Project in 2013 after witnessing first-hand the problems for refugees and asylum seekers caused by London’s soaring transport costs. Jem’s solution was simple - to get refugees cycling! By repairing abandoned bikes and giving them to refugees, The Bike Project estimate they save each refugee over £1000 per year. Since 2013 the project has gone from strength to strength. To date, they have distributed over 980 bikes to refugees as well as venturing into new areas such as cycle training for refugee women. This week we met Jem amid the wheel-lined walls of The Bike Project’s HQ in South London. Here we took the opportunity to discuss how the project started, its successes so far and new initiatives. We also looked at how the project is benefitting from its business partnerships. What was your inspiration behind the Bike Project? “When I was at university I started mentoring a refugee. He was 16 and had fled the Darfuri genocide. He was placed in the outskirts of London. Beside all the terrible things he had experienced, one of the biggest challenges he faced was that he couldn’t get anywhere. London transport is so expensive. As an asylum seeker you get £36 per week to live off and a bus pass is £21 per week. As you can’t work this leaves you very little”. “I grew up in Oxford - a cycling city - one of the first things I did to help him therefore was try to get him a bike. This enabled him to access education, healthcare, base community and psychological support”. “I founded The Bike project in my spare time while at my last charity. I left that charity to run it full time in March 2013. So we’ve been going two and a half years”. Talk us through how The Bike Project works? “Our core work involves collecting bikes donated through individuals, police, local councils and various different organisations. These bikes are refurbished by the mechanics in our workshop”. “Refugees can come and get a bike from us - most are referred from refugee organisations but people can turn up on the door.” “We have just started providing basic cycle safety training to refugees too. Every refugee receives a set of lights, a lock and a helmet. Many choose to become regular volunteers with us – this way they are also involved in the process of fixing the bikes” “We also have a project that teaches refugee women to cycle. It quickly came to our attention that we were becoming very male dominated. When we did some research we realised that this was because most refugee women come from patriarchal societies where it is not socially acceptable for women to cycle. We got a little bit of funding from TFL and a private trust. We run that project every Tuesday with the Jesuit refugee service”. Have you had any specific success stories? “One of our success stories is Resom (pictured above) who is working next door. He initially came to us as a refugee and soon started volunteering for us. As he had leave to remain, he was allowed to work. He had a knack for bike mechanics so we supported him to train as a mechanic. We now employ him 3 and a bit days per week.” You have recently been sponsored by the Law firm Winckworth – Sherwood to become a member of Localgiving. Have you explored working with businesses before and would you say there are any particular benefits from working with businesses? “We are really grateful to Winckworth - Sherwood for supporting us. We encourage them to visit and see what we do. We look forward to working with them in the future”. “We are a charity and social enterprise. Part of our income comes from providing bike servicing to firms in the city with commuter cyclists - so we work with a lot of big and medium sized businesses” “The great thing about working with businesses is that people who work in the private sector really like to feel that their skills can be useful (to charities). You can get a lot out of a relationship if you can find a way to use these skills. For example, our treasurer is the financial director of a private equity firm in the city. It is important for him to be able to use his skills in a way that helps a charity.” “When working with a business if there is a way for you to utilise their skills, this can be the core of a really productive relationship in terms of volunteering and potentially financially.”    To find out more about the bike project or donate please visit: The Bike Project To find out about groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities HERE.     
    Sep 18, 2015 1835
  • 17 Sep 2015
    Ten tips for writing a press release This week Kay Parris follows up her excellent blog, How to make friends with the media - Part 1, with ten top tips for writing an informative and effective press release. A press release (also known as a news or media release) should be short, striking and informative. 1. Begin with a compelling headline that tells a journalist the crux of the matter. Don’t be obscure. If the story is: “Ed Sheeran to open new community shop”, then that’s your headline – not “Guess who’s coming to town”. 2. Make sure your opening sentences answer the essential questions about your story: Who? When? What? Where? And Why? 3. Avoid jargon and acronyms – your members might know what you’re talking about, but no one else will bother to find out. 4. Use (and attribute) great quotes where possible, to bring your story to life. 5. Write simply, clearly and accurately. A hard-pressed journalist will often run a good press release more or less verbatim as a story. 6. Keep it short – ideally 300 words max for the main story, 600 only if necessary. 7. Include a named contact person, with their email and phone number. 8. Don’t bog your story down with background details. Add them to the end of the press release under the heading: ‘Notes for editors’. Always include key points here about your charity and its mission. 9. Check your work very carefully for errors. 10. Use email to send out your press release, with the headline or a brief description of the story in the email subject box. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.  Image by NS Newsflash   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris Don't save you pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    1957 Posted by Kay Parris
  • Ten tips for writing a press release This week Kay Parris follows up her excellent blog, How to make friends with the media - Part 1, with ten top tips for writing an informative and effective press release. A press release (also known as a news or media release) should be short, striking and informative. 1. Begin with a compelling headline that tells a journalist the crux of the matter. Don’t be obscure. If the story is: “Ed Sheeran to open new community shop”, then that’s your headline – not “Guess who’s coming to town”. 2. Make sure your opening sentences answer the essential questions about your story: Who? When? What? Where? And Why? 3. Avoid jargon and acronyms – your members might know what you’re talking about, but no one else will bother to find out. 4. Use (and attribute) great quotes where possible, to bring your story to life. 5. Write simply, clearly and accurately. A hard-pressed journalist will often run a good press release more or less verbatim as a story. 6. Keep it short – ideally 300 words max for the main story, 600 only if necessary. 7. Include a named contact person, with their email and phone number. 8. Don’t bog your story down with background details. Add them to the end of the press release under the heading: ‘Notes for editors’. Always include key points here about your charity and its mission. 9. Check your work very carefully for errors. 10. Use email to send out your press release, with the headline or a brief description of the story in the email subject box. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.  Image by NS Newsflash   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris Don't save you pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    Sep 17, 2015 1957
  • 17 Sep 2015
      Effective communication is vital to any charity’s chances of survival. After all, few people support causes they know little or nothing about – and why should they? Charities use all kinds of channels to tell their stories – from websites, social media and email, to newsletters, phone calls and meetings. Yet, despite their best efforts, many small groups find their messages fail to reach far beyond an existing supporter base. Fortunately, this is where formal media – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and media websites – can help. Community-based charities often sit on news that local, regional, specialist and sometimes even national media would love to run, if they only got to hear about it. The first trick is to spot when you have a potential media story. After that, the ABC of dealing with the media is to tell the right people your news, in the right way, at the right time. So first, check whether your story is really news: News stories must be new. “Teen addiction helpline takes record number of calls” is news. “Teen addiction helpline exists to support vulnerable young people” is not news. The launch of an appeal to keep a toddler group open may be news. An “ongoing” appeal is not. And neither is a launch that happened three weeks ago. News means that something out of the ordinary has happened. “Young offenders grow veg for homeless shelter” is news. “Community gardeners get busy sewing marrow seeds” is not news. A decent picture, if you have one, creates extra interest. Remember that any story you are aiming at the media must resonate with a target group of readers, listeners or viewers beyond your charity. “Sue Brown wins volunteer of the month” won’t qualify. Then go about things properly: A. Tell the right people Get to know your target media so you can aim your story at the right slot and the right journalist. A regional newspaper might split its news into: Business, Health, Education, Community and other areas. An ethical gardening magazine might have a Local Groups page. Approach the relevant section editor with an email, by name. B. In the right way Having familiarised yourself with your target media, tailor your story to the appropriate slot. If you are holding a barn dance in your village hall, a small notice will suffice to help you attract punters – and aiming for anything bigger would be unrealistic. Check the usual notices format, and email a couple of lines, in the correct format, to the notices editor or contact person. Similarly, try to recognise when your story is, say, not so much news as something for a letters’ column or listeners’ comment slot. Again, learn the formats for those slots – lengths, tones and types of piece – and stick to them. For news stories, the best approach is a press release (I will look at this in detail in 'How to make friends with the media - Part 2'). This is straightforward to write, but you need it to be perfect. Don’t follow up your press release with a “just checking you got my email” phone call. You will only irritate a journalist. They will contact you if they are interested. If you really need to follow up, send an email with new material – links to related photos, a reminder to RSVP if press are invited to your event. That way you get to issue a gentle prod, without becoming a pain. C. At the right time If your harvest story misses the September issue deadline for a community magazine, it won’t get saved for the Halloween edition. Too often, a great story gets wasted because a press release arrives too late to fit a production or programming schedule. Bear in mind that copy deadlines for a monthly publication will often arise two months before the publication date. News isn’t news for long. If you are targeting daily or weekly media, report on what has happened within 24 hours if you can. Where you want to invite the media along to an event, give at least two weeks notice. Exercise timing restraint. There is no point firing off press releases every five minutes. You will make it harder for a journalist to notice when a newsworthy item finally lands in their inbox.   Look out for How to make friends with the media- Part 2- coming soon! This will look at how to write an effective Press Release. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.        Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How to make friend with the media (part 2) by Kay Parris How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina    Image copyright of Lewis Clarke    
    3699 Posted by Kay Parris
  •   Effective communication is vital to any charity’s chances of survival. After all, few people support causes they know little or nothing about – and why should they? Charities use all kinds of channels to tell their stories – from websites, social media and email, to newsletters, phone calls and meetings. Yet, despite their best efforts, many small groups find their messages fail to reach far beyond an existing supporter base. Fortunately, this is where formal media – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and media websites – can help. Community-based charities often sit on news that local, regional, specialist and sometimes even national media would love to run, if they only got to hear about it. The first trick is to spot when you have a potential media story. After that, the ABC of dealing with the media is to tell the right people your news, in the right way, at the right time. So first, check whether your story is really news: News stories must be new. “Teen addiction helpline takes record number of calls” is news. “Teen addiction helpline exists to support vulnerable young people” is not news. The launch of an appeal to keep a toddler group open may be news. An “ongoing” appeal is not. And neither is a launch that happened three weeks ago. News means that something out of the ordinary has happened. “Young offenders grow veg for homeless shelter” is news. “Community gardeners get busy sewing marrow seeds” is not news. A decent picture, if you have one, creates extra interest. Remember that any story you are aiming at the media must resonate with a target group of readers, listeners or viewers beyond your charity. “Sue Brown wins volunteer of the month” won’t qualify. Then go about things properly: A. Tell the right people Get to know your target media so you can aim your story at the right slot and the right journalist. A regional newspaper might split its news into: Business, Health, Education, Community and other areas. An ethical gardening magazine might have a Local Groups page. Approach the relevant section editor with an email, by name. B. In the right way Having familiarised yourself with your target media, tailor your story to the appropriate slot. If you are holding a barn dance in your village hall, a small notice will suffice to help you attract punters – and aiming for anything bigger would be unrealistic. Check the usual notices format, and email a couple of lines, in the correct format, to the notices editor or contact person. Similarly, try to recognise when your story is, say, not so much news as something for a letters’ column or listeners’ comment slot. Again, learn the formats for those slots – lengths, tones and types of piece – and stick to them. For news stories, the best approach is a press release (I will look at this in detail in 'How to make friends with the media - Part 2'). This is straightforward to write, but you need it to be perfect. Don’t follow up your press release with a “just checking you got my email” phone call. You will only irritate a journalist. They will contact you if they are interested. If you really need to follow up, send an email with new material – links to related photos, a reminder to RSVP if press are invited to your event. That way you get to issue a gentle prod, without becoming a pain. C. At the right time If your harvest story misses the September issue deadline for a community magazine, it won’t get saved for the Halloween edition. Too often, a great story gets wasted because a press release arrives too late to fit a production or programming schedule. Bear in mind that copy deadlines for a monthly publication will often arise two months before the publication date. News isn’t news for long. If you are targeting daily or weekly media, report on what has happened within 24 hours if you can. Where you want to invite the media along to an event, give at least two weeks notice. Exercise timing restraint. There is no point firing off press releases every five minutes. You will make it harder for a journalist to notice when a newsworthy item finally lands in their inbox.   Look out for How to make friends with the media- Part 2- coming soon! This will look at how to write an effective Press Release. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.        Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How to make friend with the media (part 2) by Kay Parris How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina    Image copyright of Lewis Clarke    
    Sep 17, 2015 3699
  • 07 Sep 2015
    With Grow Your Tenner fast approaching it’s important for charities to look for new potential donors and fundraisers within their local community in order to make the most of the campaign. The extra incentive of having a donation of up to £10 doubled makes Grow Your Tenner a great time to reach out to new groups that you may not have thought to contact or felt comfortable contacting before. Focusing on groups rather than individuals is a time effective way to find new donors or fundraisers. For every one person contacted within a particular group, you are opening your charity up to multiple, potential donors who you would have never interacted with before. Groups also make fantastic fundraisers. When contacting groups don’t just think about approaching them as donors but suggest some team fundraising. You could even make the most of some healthy team competition! On Localgiving, each fundraiser on average brings 10 new online donors to their charity that, on average, raised £400 per charity. So, reaching out to groups as fundraisers is certainly worth considering. Below are 4 key types of community group who you should be reaching out to: 1. Local Businesses Local businesses are often keen to find charitable activities for their staff so why not approach them and suggest a fundraising competition within the office? When approaching local businesses always think of what you can offer them in return, whether it be publicity at a fundraising event or a day of volunteering for their staff.    2.  Sports Groups These groups will be more willing to take on physical challenges and will enjoy the competition of team fundraising. Ask if you can put up posters around your local sports clubs or ask to talk about your cause at an event.   3. Schools Kids make great fundraisers as they are often full of energy and enthusiastic about local causes. Approaching schools opens your donor base up to a parents and teachers as well. Why not suggest talking about your cause as an assembly or host a fundraising event that will be more appealing to kids.   4. Community Groups This can be anything from a book club to a dance class. Do your research on the groups that exist in your local area and approach them about donating to, or fundraising for, your cause. Ask to be invited to their next meeting so you can interact with as many new potential donors as possible. Whenever you are reaching out to new donors or fundraising make sure you have a clear ask based around Grow Your Tenner and think in advance about what you would like from each group. Also make sure to scale your ask depending on who you speak to. Any donation up to £10 will be matched during the campaign - people could donate £2 or £5 and still have their donation doubled. Always try your best to meet the groups in person. This way they will see your passion for the cause first hand and you will be able to make the experience more personal. You can also use this as an opportunity to hand out promotional material surrounding the campaign. Click here for our downloadable poster with the 4 key groups to target within your community. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Localgiving help desk on 0300 111 2340.
    2560 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • With Grow Your Tenner fast approaching it’s important for charities to look for new potential donors and fundraisers within their local community in order to make the most of the campaign. The extra incentive of having a donation of up to £10 doubled makes Grow Your Tenner a great time to reach out to new groups that you may not have thought to contact or felt comfortable contacting before. Focusing on groups rather than individuals is a time effective way to find new donors or fundraisers. For every one person contacted within a particular group, you are opening your charity up to multiple, potential donors who you would have never interacted with before. Groups also make fantastic fundraisers. When contacting groups don’t just think about approaching them as donors but suggest some team fundraising. You could even make the most of some healthy team competition! On Localgiving, each fundraiser on average brings 10 new online donors to their charity that, on average, raised £400 per charity. So, reaching out to groups as fundraisers is certainly worth considering. Below are 4 key types of community group who you should be reaching out to: 1. Local Businesses Local businesses are often keen to find charitable activities for their staff so why not approach them and suggest a fundraising competition within the office? When approaching local businesses always think of what you can offer them in return, whether it be publicity at a fundraising event or a day of volunteering for their staff.    2.  Sports Groups These groups will be more willing to take on physical challenges and will enjoy the competition of team fundraising. Ask if you can put up posters around your local sports clubs or ask to talk about your cause at an event.   3. Schools Kids make great fundraisers as they are often full of energy and enthusiastic about local causes. Approaching schools opens your donor base up to a parents and teachers as well. Why not suggest talking about your cause as an assembly or host a fundraising event that will be more appealing to kids.   4. Community Groups This can be anything from a book club to a dance class. Do your research on the groups that exist in your local area and approach them about donating to, or fundraising for, your cause. Ask to be invited to their next meeting so you can interact with as many new potential donors as possible. Whenever you are reaching out to new donors or fundraising make sure you have a clear ask based around Grow Your Tenner and think in advance about what you would like from each group. Also make sure to scale your ask depending on who you speak to. Any donation up to £10 will be matched during the campaign - people could donate £2 or £5 and still have their donation doubled. Always try your best to meet the groups in person. This way they will see your passion for the cause first hand and you will be able to make the experience more personal. You can also use this as an opportunity to hand out promotional material surrounding the campaign. Click here for our downloadable poster with the 4 key groups to target within your community. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Localgiving help desk on 0300 111 2340.
    Sep 07, 2015 2560
  • 04 Sep 2015
    It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    3262 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    Sep 04, 2015 3262